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Innovation in American retailing, 1919-39: improving inventory management

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Abstract:

The primary purpose of this paper is to examine one of the most important innovations in American retailing, the model stock plan. Proposed by E.A. Filene in 1930, the plan provided a new way to solve previous inventory problems. Building upon past solutions and integrating ideas from 'scientific management', Filene was better able to address the issue of customer diversity and geographic dispersion. The discussion is placed in the context of 'evolutionary economics', whose framework provides an alternative to the study of retail history. The introduction of this methodology forms the secondary purpose of this study.

Keywords: EVOLUTIONARY ECONOMICS; INNOVATION; INVENTORY MANAGEMENT; MODEL STOCK PLAN; RETAIL HISTORY

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/095939699342589

Publication date: July 1, 1999

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